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September 26, 2005

That Didn't Take Long

From the Houston Chronicle today:

Hamas halts attacks in Gaza: The order came after Israel gave its forces free rein to stop terrorists
JERUSALEM - Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of Israel said Sunday that he had given the military free rein to act against Palestinian factions firing rockets at Israel. Hours later, the militant group Hamas announced that it was halting all attacks from the Gaza Strip.
The surprise statement by Hamas, delivered late Sunday night in Gaza City by a senior Hamas leader, Mahmoud Zahar, offered the possibility that the escalating violence of the past three days could be brought to a halt.

The emphases are mine, and I'm sorely tempted to commit extreme profanity. To whom, I wonder, was this "announcement" a surprise? And I refuse to grant to Hamas the ownership of any authority to "offer the possibility" of ending the violence. They fired rockets into Israel within days of the withdrawal--they have no bargaining position whatsosever. (Do you hear that, Condi?)

And farther along comes the topper:

But late Sunday night, Zahar said that Hamas "declares an end to its operations from the Gaza Strip against the Israeli occupation."

Wait a minute--what "Israeli occupation" is he speaking of? The Israelis have been gone from Gaza for several weeks now; he couldn't have been referring to Israel proper? Could he?

Here's the emblem of the Palestinian Liberation Organization:


Note the outline pictured is of all of the state of Israel.

UPDATE: Captain Ed has further thoughts:

{T]he Israeli withdrawal from Gaza brought an entirely new set of circumstances to the use of military force. The abandonment of the settlements and the removal of Israeli troops took away the excuse of a 'legitimate fight against an unjust occupation' [...]. It makes such rocket attacks open acts of war, for which the government nominally in control of the territory must take responsibility.
That means that the Israelis have every right to respond to an attack on their country when presented with such a casus belli, and they have done so. The Palestinians appealed to the US, which has all too often yanked a diplomatic leash on Israel, but not this time. The BBC reports that the American response, translated from Diplomatese, says, "Don't expect us to pull your bacon from the fire this time."

This was my great hope for the Gaza pullout. The Arabs seem to have no sincere desire for a rational peace. The idea that Israel has a right to exist (as opposed to Arab recognition of some sort of real estate fait accompli) does not appear to be gaining acceptance. Thus I find no fault with the Israelis' recent strategy of defense by segregation, by means of the security fence (effective so far) and the Gaza withdrawal (to be determined). Withdrawing the settlers was no doubt a wrenching and tragic experience for those involved, but hopefully it will not have been for naught if Israel can more readily illuminate for the world the true nature of these fascistic terrorists.

Posted on September 26, 2005 02:26 PM

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While it is widely criticized, I believe the withdrawal from the strip with a good strategic move. And this continued aggression from Palestine is the proof we've all been waiting for. Israel